28 Wealth that really counts

Encouragement for difficult days (28):

WEALTH THAT REALLY COUNTS

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”

Ephesians 1:3

The late J. Paul Getty was reputed to be the richest man in the world. He once complained to a newspare reporter that inflation was hurting him, and that one million dollars was not what it used to be! Most of us will never own a million dollars, but we are still rich. When we have Jesus Christ living in out\r hearts, we are the richest people on earth. Today’s scripture verse says that we Christians have been “blessed….with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”

When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus, he was addressing people who knew something about wealth. Ephesus was a wealthy city. It possessed one of the seven wonders of the world, the great temple of Diana; and the temple itself was a bank where citizens deposited their valuables. Thousands of tourist came to Ephesus each year to see the temple of Diana, and of course, there was a brisk trade selling souvenirs.

However, there were some people in Ephesus that was wealthy beyond measure. They did not have gold and  silver hidden away in secret places, but they had a wealth beyond measure  that could never be taken away from them. They had not earned it or deserved it. They were given it because God gave His only Son to die on a cross for you and me.

Paul puts it another way in his second letter to the Corinthian church: “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9) What kind of wealth is this? Unless we can answer this question, our wealth can do us no good! One way of understanding this is to contrast it with the kind of wealth God gave Israel when they entered the promised land.

First of all, Israel’s wealth was material, ours is spiritual. God promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. Nowhere in the New Testament has God promised to make the Christian wealthy and comfortable in this world. Jesus Himself was poor, and so were His disciples. Paul wrote “Silver and gold have I none.” (Acts 3:6).Our wealth is spiritual, not merely material. He has, though, promised to supply our needs.

Secondly, Israel’s blessings were earthly, while ours are heavenly. God promises to bless their crops, their flocks, their herds, their families, their armies, even their rainfall. He promised them “days of heaven on earth” and freedom from famine, sickness, and trouble. All these blessings are attached to this world and material things. The blessings we Christians have in Christ are “in heavenly places.” We rae spisitually seated with Christ in heaven. It simply means that our life on earth should be controlled by heaven.  Paul says: ! If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2)

The final contrast s that Israel’s blessing only lasted as long as they obeyed God. Our blessing is permanent and free. As soon as Israel turned away from God, the rain stopped, the rivers dried, the crops failed, and the land suffered from physical and economical disaster. Our blessings in Christ, however, are permanent and free. There are no strings attached! Our blessing rea based on grace, not law. When you were saved, God blessed you with all the blessings of the Spirit you will ever need to live a full life and glorify His name.

The enjoyment of these blessings are conditional: we must yield to the Lord, trust Him, and by faith draw upon this vast spiritual wealth. A disobedient Christian is like the prodigal son: he has plenty of wealth and satisfaction with his father back home, but we by our disbelief or disobedience can rob ourselves of the enjoyment of these blessings.

There is no need to live like a pauper when you can live like a king!

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